Paths to Prosperity: Respect for Rural Ontario
14 March 2013
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario can lead Canada in job creation again, but for that to happen, the vital role of agriculture to our whole economy can no longer be ignored by the current government, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
Hudak was joined by Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Critic Ernie Hardeman for the launch of Paths to Prosperity: Respect for Rural Ontario – the 12th white paper on strengthening our economy.
“Agriculture supports our overall economy,” Hudak said. “In addition to being a mainstay for jobs across rural Ontario, thousands of jobs in the Greater Toronto Area depend on food processing alone.
“So we must overturn 10 years of decisions by this government to get our rural economy and critical agriculture sector back in shape: lower taxes, affordable energy and rooting out a thicket of red tape.”
Respect for Rural Ontario is packed with such job-creating ideas, Hardeman said. “Just one example – attracting good jobs to Ontario through the growing market for biodiesel vehicle and heating fuel.”
Hardeman explained it can be made from vegetable oils, animal fats, recycled restaurant greases, canola or soybeans and also used as heating fuel. It’s biodegradable and produces fewer pollutants.
“Production jobs are going to be created somewhere as it gains popularity,” Hardeman said. “Let’s bring them right here, by matching federal biodiesel content requirement as other provinces have – to attract those investments to Ontario.”
Hudak said the only thing standing in the way of progress to create new jobs supporting agriculture is a government that treats farming as “out of sight, out of mind”.
“This government turned its back on agriculture, creating an urban-rural divide,” Hudak said. “They don’t understand how modern, sophisticated farming drives job creation in every corner of Ontario. Only we have a plan to build on the role of agriculture in a strong economy for all of us.”